Queer nationalism is a phenomenon related both to the gay and lesbian liberation movement and nationalism. Adherents of this movement support the notion that the LGBT community forms a distinct people due to their unique culture and customs.
The homophobic aspect of many cultures has led to increasing frustration and a wish to separate from a perceived hostile heterosexual majority. These feelings found their expression in 1990 with the establishment of Queer Nation, a radical organisation best known for its slogan "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it."
A nation-state for homosexuals was suggested by, among others, William S. Burroughs, who changed his views later towards an organised structure similar to the Chinese Tong community. In 1969, Gay activist Don Jackson from California proposed to take over the Alpine County (USA) — a project also known as Stonewall Nation.
The first attempt to make territorial claims was made in 2004 by a group of Australian gay activists who declared the tiny islands of Cato to be the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea and Dale Parker Anderson to be the Emperor. Following the 2005 disagreements within the group, the Gay and Lesbian Commonwealth Kingdom and Unified Gay Tribe have cancelled their affiliation to Mr. Anderson. Some other groups with similar causes exist, e.g. the Gay Homeland Foundation and a micronation called Gay Parallel Republic.
The Pink Panthers Movement
The gay rights activist group, The Pink Panthers Movement (PPM) in Denver, Colorado, as well as their charters/chapters throughout the USA, including a large group located in Fresno, California, have identified themselves, not only as radical and militant, but as Queer Nationalists. These formed several small parties throughout the United States and Canada that stand in solidarity only to those that identify as supporters of the old Queer Nation. They follow the regulations and protests set down by their president and chairman, Todd A. Haley II of Denver, Colorado. Haley believes that the community must stand in solidarity in order to defeat right wing religious extremism and to cease violence against LGBT individuals. He also believes in supporting financially, LGBT owned and operated businesses. He has referred to supporting heterosexual owned businesses (especially those that attack the LGBT community) as "bleeding our future". While his queer nationalist agendas have reached the attention of several militant LGBT groups around the world, Haley does not believe in boycotting the LGBT community should any issues arise within the LGBT community; only heterosexual, oppressive organizations feel his wrath of protest. His motives include street patrols in LGBT neighborhoods, self-defense courses, and a constant pressure on those that oppose LGBT equality. Haley an avid Queer Nationalist, wants complete independence, not from the government itself, but to the politics that dictate the LGBT community's lives. He firmly believes that only LGBT individuals should be able to vote and decide on the outcome on LGBT issues. He believes that the government is ran by heterosexual supremacists ("hetero-supremacists") and heterosexist politicians.
"If we want our movement and community to thrive, we must learn to overthrow the system in which Hetero-supremacists and hate mongers continue to decide on how we should live and who we should love. Our enemy has arrived at our doorstep and their masks have fallen; they are no longer hiding their intentions, but making them a reality through manipulation and law." -Todd A. Haley II
Research on nationalism
An advanced analysis was published 1996 by Brian Walker. In his article Social Movements as Nationalisms, or, On the Very Idea of a Queer Nation, Walker points out that several features of the nationalistic creation of cultural identity apply to the LGBT national movement as well. Walker classifies Queer Nationalism as one of the "new", cultural forms of nationalism which are distinct from the "old" ethnic and religious types of nationalism and concludes that the gay and lesbian community fulfils many criteria to be regarded as a people, because:
- All forms of nationalism began as social movements, which queer nationalism is – a group of people set apart from those around them by in-group attitudes and discrimination from others.
- The gay community has a culture, with distinct discussion groups, book stores, magazines, bars, cabarets and other such features.
- It possesses a shared history and literature.
Walker regards modern communication technologies such as the Internet as offering a chance for the LGBT community to further integrate as a non-territorial nation.
This thesis is supported by Paul Treanor who considers an alternative (non-nationalist) world order possible. In this context Treanor mentions the LGBT community as a "non-territorial nationalist movement".
Will Kymlicka acknowledges that Gays have developed a group identity and group culture similar to those of ethnocultural groups, but argues in favor of integration instead of separatism.
- Ranklin, L. P.: 'Sexualities and national identities: Re-imagining queer nationalism' in: Journal of Canadian Studies, Summer 2000
- Burroughs, William S. "Thoughts on Gay State" in Gay Spirit. Ed. Mark Thompson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987. pp 20–24. ISBN 0-312-00600-4
- [Donn Teal: 'The Gay Militants: How Gay Liberation began in America, 1969 - 1971'. (New York: Stein and Day, 1971). pp. 281-298.]
- Walker, Brian: "Social Movements as Nationalisms" in: "Rethinking Nationalism" [ISBN 0-919491-22-7].
- Treanor, Paul: "Structures of Nationalism" in "Sociological Research online"
- Will Kymlicka: Can Multiculturalism Be Extended to Non-Ethnic Groups? in Finding our way: rethinking ethnocultural relations in Canada (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998), S. 90-101.
- Paola Bacchetta. “Queer Formations in (Hindu) Nationalism.” In Sexuality Studies, edited by Sanjay Srivasta, 121-140. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- "Rethinking Nationalism", ISBN 0-919491-22-7.
- Summary on Brian Walker's theses.
- Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation.
- Gay Homeland Foundation.